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Boys track: Irish 'up-and-down' at state

Rosemount's Andrew Hausmann takes the baton from Goaner Deng during Friday's 4x200 relay prelims. The relay finished 11th and the Irish went on to place 13th as a team at the Class 2A State Meet with 25 points.

With a history of success in the Class 2A state championship meet, and armed with a True Team state title this season, the Rosemount boys track and field team has lofty expectations.

The Irish have set the bar high when it comes to judging their own performances. It can be a tricky to assess how they fare at the state's biggest meets.

"We're kind of a product of our own success," Rosemount coach Jay Hatleli said. "How many times in the past would we have taken this many guys to the state meet and felt pretty good. We did have greater team aspirations and you walk away a little disappointed. It shouldn't be that like that, but it's the way it is."

Rosemount finished 13th in the team scoring with 25 points. Stillwater won the team title with 47 points.

"I suppose you could say it was up-and-down for us," Hatleli said. "All in all, it's always a good experience being at the state meet."

The Irish had several chances to score points. They had three relays advance to the state meet, and had nine individuals compete in nine events. In the end, eight individuals participated in the finals with the ability to score points. Two of the relays were in the finals.

On Friday, Rosemount scored its first points of the meet in the shot put.

Joe Bjorklund finished seventh with Brandt Berghuis placing eighth.

Berghuis took 17th in the discus on Saturday.

"I think they would tell you they were disappointed, but they've been anchors on our team all year long," Hatleli said. "Joe especially, if he could have been close to his season-best he would have been right up there. Like with the other events, it's big-time competition."

The Irish tallied their most team points in the 4x800-meter relay.

John Evenocheck, Sam Temple, Chris Mergens and Chandler Dye crossed the finish line in 7 minutes, 50.99 seconds to place third. They were less than two seconds behind the winner, but almost four seconds ahead of the fourth-place squad.

"It was a good race," Hatleli said. "Our guys ran well. When you get to state there isn't much room for error."

Goaner Deng, Andrew Hausmann, Temple and Myles Phillips took fourth in the 4x400 relay.

Phillips, Clay Notch, Deng and Hausmann also finished 11th in the preliminaries of the 4x200.

Shane McCallum placed 10th in the 1,600 and 13th in the 3,200.

"He was battling a little bit of sickness earlier in the week and I think he would tell you he wanted to do better," Hatleli said. "You can't fault the effort. He was hoping for more, but that's the way it goes."

Hausmann finished eighth in the 400, while Deng took 15th.

In the 800, Dye and Mergens crossed the line in eighth and ninth, respectively.

"That was a good deal," Hatleli said. "Mergens ran a PR to get into the finals. The 800 is one of the most competitive races and it was a highlight to see them run in the finals. They were running in other events for us and I think they were running against a few guys who might have been a little fresher. That's what you have to deal with."

Myles Phillips took ninth in the 200, running in the finals.

"That was great for him," Hatleli said. "That made our plans difficult because he was also running in the 4x400. So, he had a short turnaround. To run in the finals is a big accomplishment."

Phong Dovu was 17th in the long jump and Hausmann added a 15th-place finish in the triple jump.